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VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Marcos’ report on decreasing food prices in SONA is misleading

Misleading

During his second State of the Nation Address on Monday, July 24, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said his administration was able to prove that it can bring down food prices.

This is misleading.

STATEMENT

Flaunting the achievements of the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) Kadiwa program, Marcos said:

Napatunayan natin na kayang maipababa ang presyo ng bigas, karne, isda, gulay at asukal. Malaking tulong ang Kadiwa Store na ating muling binuhay at inilunsad.”

 

(We have proven that we can lower the prices of rice, meat, fish, vegetables and sugar. The Kadiwa Store that we have revived and established helped a lot.)

Source: Philippine Communications Office, The 2023 State of the Nation Address 07/24/2023, (official transcript), July 24, 2023, watch from 44:41 – 44:55

Marcos previously claimed that his administration was getting closer to fulfilling his campaign promise of bringing down the price of rice to P20 per kilo. This was debunked at least twice by VERA Files Fact Check for its lack of context.

(Read: VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Marcos Jr.’s claim that rice now at P25 per kilo statement needs context and VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Marcos Jr.’s repeat claim that rice is now at P25 per kilo needs context)

FACT

Although Kadiwa stores sell goods at relatively lower prices, the latest inflation report from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) shows that food prices–including rice, meat, fish, vegetables and sugar–continue to increase but at a slower rate compared to previous months.

PSA said food inflation, or the rate at which prices of food items increase, has decelerated to 6.7% in June 2023 from 7.5% in the previous month. However, it is still higher than the 6.4% recorded food inflation in June 2022.

When compared with the previous month’s inflation rates, higher year-on-year growth rates were observed for commodities such as rice, fish and other seafood, as well as vegetables, tubers, plantains, cooking bananas and pulses.

Rice, fish and vegetables are among the food groups with the highest contribution to food inflation in June 2023:

  • Cereals and cereal products, which include rice, corn, flour, bread and other bakery products, with 29.4% share or 2.0 percentage points;
  • Vegetables, tubers, plantains, cooking bananas and pulses, with 14.9% share or 1.0 percentage point; and
  • Fish and other seafood, with 14.7% percent share or 1.0 percentage point.

According to PSA, food inflation shared 43.4% of the overall inflation in June 2023.

The Kadiwa ng Pangulo is an initiative of the Office of the President and the DA aimed at softening the impact of rising inflation by removing market layers to enable farmers to sell directly to consumers and thereby providing affordable and accessible food to Filipinos.

 

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Sources

Philippine Communications Office, 2nd State of the Nation Address of His Excellency Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. President of the Philippines to the Congress of the Philippines, July 24, 2023

Philippine Statistics Authority, Summary Inflation Report Consumer Price Index (2018=100): June 2023, July 5, 2023

Department of Agriculture, PBBM-led Kadiwa opens in more areas outside the Metro, March 2, 2023

Department of Agriculture, MOA Signing KADIWA ng Pangulo (July 17, 2023), July 18, 2023

(Guided by the code of principles of the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, VERA Files tracks the false claims, flip-flops, misleading statements of public officials and figures, and debunks them with factual evidence. Find out more about this initiative and our methodology.)